Vape Juice Nicotine Levels: Which Is Best For You?

Choosing the right nicotine level to vape can get tricky as there are vape juices of varying nicotine strength in the market.

Nicotine strengths may range from 0mg to 60mg.

And, the nicotine level you choose will determine your overall vaping experience.

You'll also need to choose between nicotine salts and freebase nicotine, and your preferred type of device.

But don't worry! We’ll explain it all.

We’ll also share how you can convert vape liquid percentages to mg and some helpful tips to kickstart your vaping journey.

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How Much Nicotine is in Vapes? (Types of Vapes, Nicotine Strength, Who’s it for?)

You’ll need to consider these three factors before arriving at the perfect nicotine level for your needs:

  • The type of nicotine you prefer
  • Your preferred vaping device
  • How much nicotine you need

These factors will determine your overall vaping experience, so choose the right nicotine strength wisely!

Before we get started, here’s a quick overview of the two types of nicotine, their strengths, and who they’re for:

  Nicotine Strength Used in Ideal for
Nicotine Salts Up to 60mg Low-powered, easy-to-use, Mouth-to-lung vaping (MTL)devices, high nicotine absorption. New vapers, and people who need a medium or high nicotine intake
Freebase Nicotine 0mg to 18mg High-powered, high maintenance, Direct-to-lung vaping (DTL) sub-ohm devices. A Heavy smoker or chain smoker (freebase has a strong throat kick)

A. Freebase Nicotine

A freebase nicotine e-liquid is made by changing nicotine from its naturally occurring “salt state” into a pure concentration of nicotine.

This pure nicotine results in a high e liquid strength, even at low doses. This makes it a popular and cost-effective choice among nicotine vapers.

The higher potency creates a strong throat hit and is often harsh to vape at higher vape nicotine levels.

Freebase nicotine is commonly used in high-powered ‘mod’ devices with refillable e liquid tanks. These devices produce large clouds of vapor, and of course, strong throat kicks.

The best part?

If you are a “cloud-chaser” who enjoys doing tricks with a vape or electronic cigarette, freebase e-liquid is the perfect choice for you!

Freebase Nicotine Levels

Here are some standard e liquid nicotine strength levels available with freebase nicotine vape juice:

  • 0mg: This ‘nicotine-free vape liquid” is perfect for those exploring the vape market for the first time. 0mg e liquid is a great way to experience vaping without risking nicotine addiction and other health risks.

    It’s also ideal for seasoned vapers looking to cut down their daily nicotine intake and manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

    Looking to reduce your nicotine intake or quit smoking?

    Consider switching to nicotine-free vapes.
  • 3-6mg: This is the sweet spot for an average day-to-day light smoker or vaper who doesn't enjoy too much nicotine. The 3mg nicotine range allows you to get a medium dose of nicotine that’s not too harsh on the throat.
  • 12-18mg: Not for the faint at heart, the 12-18mg range is for a veteran vaper or smoker. A higher freebase nicotine level could have a very strong throat kick and can produce strong head rushes.

    Finding the 12mg dose too harsh?

    Drop down to the 3mg nicotine range for a while and build up from there.

Note: While nicotine levels in freebase liquids are much lower than nicotine salt based e-liquid, they have a much higher nicotine concentration. This means an 18mg freebase liquid can have similar effects to a 40mg nicotine salt liquid.

The only differences would be the sensation on the throat and cloud production.

B. Nicotine Salts

A nicotine salt e-liquid is made by combining the nicotine alkaloid found in tobacco plant leaves with benzoic acid. These liquids have higher nicotine levels than freebase liquids.

Nicotine salts (aka nic salts) are more bioavailable (higher nicotine absorption rate) than freebase nicotine.

They also have a lower pH than freebase nicotine.

The result?

They have a smoother throat hit, even at a higher nicotine level.

This type of e cigarette liquid is primarily used in low-voltage devices, which use pod-based mouth-to-lung (MTL) systems.


These low-voltage devices have lower vapor production, preventing you from inhaling high levels of nicotine in just a few small puffs.

Note: Mouth-to-lung systems work by pulling vapor into the mouth before it’s inhaled into the lungs. Vape or e-cig systems where vapor is inhaled directly into the lungs are called direct-to-lung (DTL) vape systems.

Common Nicotine Levels In Salt-based E-Liquid

Here are the regular nicotine levels found in nicotine salt vape juice.

  • 20-25mg: An excellent starting point for first-time vapers, the 20-25mg range provides a smooth throat hit.

    When you first start using nicotine salt vape juice, stick to the lower (20-25mg) levels for a while. It’ll minimize the risk of strong head rushes or nicotine poisoning and will help you build a tolerance towards higher levels.
  • 30-40mg: Perfect for the average smoker, the 30-40mg range has a higher nicotine level, meaning you’ll vape less — and still satisfy your nicotine craving and smoking habits.
  • 50mg: If you are a heavy smoker, the 50mg range is the right nicotine level for you. The high amount of nicotine is perfect for wanting to quit smoking and cigarette use and will quickly satisfy any nicotine craving.

    Beginner vapers must be wary of using the 50mg e liquid strength for the first time. It may cause unwanted side effects of nicotine or even nicotine poisoning.

You may also find a nic salt e juice with 0% nicotine concentration. However, 0% nicotine content is more common in freebase e juice.

Did you know?: Health Canada has regulated electronic cigarette vaping products to contain a maximum nicotine level of 20mg to promote public health.

Wondering how nicotine levels in vapes compare to a tobacco product?

Nicotine Measurements in Cigarettes and Chewing Tobacco

Vapes are taking over the nicotine industry with flexible choices in nicotine e liquid strength.

Let’s see how nicotine vape levels compare to the traditional methods of nicotine consumption — cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco use.

A. Tobacco Cigarette

By far the most common tobacco and nicotine consumption method, the tobacco cigarette, has been around since the early 1900s.

Depending on the brand, each cigarette typically contains between 10-15 mg of nicotine.

Fun fact: Freebase nicotine was first used in the 1960s in the Marlboro cigarette. They did this to make the nicotine in their tobacco product even more potent. This caused people who engaged in cigarette smoking to develop a nicotine addiction faster, with increased cravings.

As a result, Marlboro was the leading cigarette brand for many years, at the expense of people's nicotine dependence.

B. Chewing tobacco

This smokeless product is chewed or held in the mouth to draw out nicotine and other added flavors.

Since this form of nicotine is absorbed through the mouth's soft tissues, its nicotine content is fairly lower than the traditional cigarette. The nicotine range falls between 3.6mg - 4.6mg per portion.

Does your vape liquid show nicotine strength in percentage?

While this can be confusing to grasp initially, it’s easy to convert it to mg.

Let’s break it down for you.

How To Convert Vape Liquid Percentages To Milligrams

Vape companies show the nicotine level in vape liquids as a percentage to show you the total nicotine volume in the container.

The easiest way to determine how many milligrams of nicotine is in a vape liquid is to multiply the percentage by ten.

For example:
1.8% nicotine x 10 = 18mg of nicotine.

Pretty simple, right?

You might wonder what the remaining 98.2% of the vape liquid is. Well, alongside the nicotine percentage, you’ll probably have a ratio of something called “VG/PG.”

VG (vegetable glycerin) and PG (propylene glycol) are the base compounds that make up vape juice.

Here’s a brief rundown of what they do:

  • VG: Vegetable glycerin is a thick, sweet liquid responsible for high vapor production.

    Its sweet taste often masks the full flavor of vape juice, providing a smoother throat kick than PG-dominant liquids.
  • PG: Propylene glycol is thin, tasteless liquid responsible for holding nicotine and all the other additives in vape liquids together. It also helps the liquid vaporize easily upon inhalation.

    Liquids with higher PG are more flavorful and typically have a strong throat hit.

The ratio of VG and PG in your vape liquid largely shapes your vaping experience!

  • A 60/40 VG to PG ratio is common in nicotine salt vape juice, providing a strong kick and low cloud production.

  • A 70/30 VG to PG ratio is what you might expect in freebase nicotine liquids. It provides a smooth, flavorful smoke with large cloud production.

Now that you understand vape nicotine levels better, here are some tips to improve your vaping experience!

3 Tips For Smoother And Safer Vaping

Vaping can seem as simple as “plug ‘n play,” but there is much more you can do to improve your experience.

Here are some tips to have a safe and pleasurable vaping experience.

1. Mix Your Own Vape Juice

For those who can’t find the right nicotine strength to suit their needs, your frustration ends here!

You can simply mix your own vape juice to find that perfect sweet spot.

Here’s what to do:

Let's say your favorite vape juice only comes in 0% nicotine and 6% nicotine, but your preferred nicotine level is 3%. If we do the math, mixing the two liquids in a 50/50 ratio will result in 3% nicotine!

The easiest way to get the perfect ratio is to always use a 0% nicotine e liquid strength as the base and add to that.

2. Avoid Charging Your Vape Device Overnight

We get it — charging your vaping device overnight is a convenient way to wake up to a full day of carefree vaping.

But we highly recommend you avoid doing that.


Overnight charging can shorten your device’s battery life.

More importantly, it can severely damage the internals of your battery. This can cause the battery to overheat, which could cause it to explode in extreme cases!

If the battery doesn't explode, it might crack or fracture, allowing harmful chemicals to leak into the device.

Don’t want the hassle of charging your vape?

No problem!

Try Cyclone Pods’ Gust Super disposable vape, which comes in 6 delicious flavors!

3. Avoid Harmful Ingredients

Over the last few years, regulations and restrictions on the ingredients used in vape liquids have tightened significantly.

Diacetyl (the ingredient responsible for the popcorn lung epidemic) is one example of the harmful ingredients you should avoid using.

Unfortunately, some low-quality e juice nicotine products still contain harmful chemicals. While you can’t always determine the full list of ingredients, it’s important to keep your eye open for chemicals such as:

  • Vitamin e acetate
  • Diacetyl
  • Caffeine (yes, in vapes)
  • Cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon flavoring)
  • Fragrance oils
  • Dimethyl pyrazine (strawberry flavoring)
  • Isoamyl acetate (banana flavoring)
  • Pulegone (mint and menthol flavoring)

These are just a few chemicals that should be avoided at all costs to prevent unnecessary public health risks.

The golden rule is always to use a reputable and well-trusted vape brand, such as Cyclone Pods — an all-in-one vape shop.

Cyclone Pods is a California-based vape brand that aims to make vaping products more accessible with its tobacco and nicotine-free range.

Cyclone Pods’ nicotine-free range is free from harmful additives like diacetyl and vitamin e acetate. All Cyclone Pods vaping products are quality-tested to provide a top-notch and flavorful vaping experience.

Looking for an all-in-one vape system?

Try the all-new Thunder Device vape kit, available in menthol, mango, strawberry, coffee, and more!

‘Level’ Up Your Vaping Experience!

Finding the perfect nicotine vape level is a personalized adventure. From throat-kicking high nicotine levels down to a smooth and flavor packed nicotine-free disposable vape — there is something for everyone.

But when choosing the right vape pen product for you, quality and trust should always be your main priorities.

So why settle for less than the best?

Visit Cyclone Pods’ vape shop to see how you can improve your vaping experience with nicotine-free vaping.
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